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V. Pavlátová

Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem (CZECH REPUBLIC)
This paper aims to introduce the design, implementation and evaluation of an educational programme for nursery school children with the intentional use of elements of environmental education.

The programme was focused on handling waste. The pupils of the "Eco-school" of the Bishop Grammar School Bohosudov participated in both designing the program and its implementation. (Eco-school is the largest international environmental program in the world with 16,000,000 pupils from 49,000 schools and 64 countries).

Altogether we performed the programme for 10 nursery schools. Children gained information on sorting and preventing waste by other forms and methods than they were used to - we used enjoyable but for the children new environment, the project teaching methods and the benefits of mutual learning by secondary school students, not adults. The activities of the program were arranged into a fairy-tale performance age-appropriate to the respondents.

The fairy-tale (programme) is called "Snow White and the Seven Bins" and deals in a fun and interactive way with sorting, but also preventing waste. The name of the programme refers to seven different colours of containers for sorting waste, whose use is standardized in the Czech Republic (yellow for plastic, blue for paper, green for glass, orange for cardboard, red for hazardous waste, brown for biodegradable waste, black for mixed waste). The program was carried out for the total of 213 respondents from 3 to 7 years of age, the most strongly represented group being 5 to 6-year-olds. The participants were selected from Ústí nad Labem Region in the Czech Republic.

This paper presents an evaluation of the programme's effectiveness, the reflection of the bases and the evaluation of the benefits to pedagogical practice. To measure the level of knowledge and skills, pre-tests and post-tests were used. The content of the tests was identical, containing 4 pictures of different colours of containers and pictures of waste. The children were supposed to circle the right type of waste (for instance, for a blue paper container the children circled a picture of a newspaper and a book). For the correct type of waste, points were added, for wrongly marked waste, points were deducted. The data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis.

Statistically significant effect of the programme on the knowledge and skills of children was found. There has been no evidence of gender impact on the values found. The use of teaching methods, changing of the environment, as well as the use of pupils as teachers, probably influenced the knowledge shift. You can find a sample of the program here: